Holt steps down as Cameron grid coach

CAMERON — Being a coach can take up a lot of time away from your family.

Because of that, Scott Holt felt it was time to go in a different direction. Despite football being part of his life since he was in second grade, now is the time to step away.

Monday, Holt turned in his letter of resignation, stepping down as Cameron football coach after five years and three straight playoff appearances.

“This has been coming for over a year now,” Holt said. “I talked to my wife, talked to close friends, weighing all the time involved. My kids are getting older and I want to be more involved and be fair to them with my time.

“It is time to get away for a little bit and be the best dad and husband I can be.”

During his tenure, the Dragons made school history, marking two perfect regular seasons in the past three, a span that included a 29-1 regular season record.

In 2016, Holt led Cameron to the first playoff game at Dragon Stadium, and earned a home playoff game in each of the following two seasons.

After two seasons of playoff disappointment, the Dragons sent the fans home happy with a victory against Van in the first round before bowing out a week later against Doddridge County.

It was a hard loss for Holt because he knew what was ahead.

“My coaches had known this was going to be it and that made that playoff loss especially hard,” Holt said. “It was our last time as a group. But assuming the assistants stay, whoever gets the job is going to be getting a great coaching staff. They are certainly well-prepared to go on and continue the traditions we started.

“It is hard to gage kids. They were pretty silent when we told them and I think it came as a surprise. But they are very resilient and will get along just fine.”

Holt admits it was a hard decision, but putting his family first was his priority.

Along with his wife, Arica, he has two young children in daughter, Taylin, and son, Blaise.

“It was a hard decision, especially when you have been a part of something for a long time, but I know I am doing it for the right reasons by putting my family first,” he said. “If you have any doubt you can’t give the team the proper time, it is probably just easier for everyone to get out. The kids there deserve the best coach Cameron can offer them and my children and wife deserve the best husband and dad I can offer them.

“I think if anyone is taking this the hardest it is my son. He just turned 8 and is on the sideline for every game. But they will be happy to see me here more and taking an active interest. I will be in the crowd of a lot of youth hockey games and dance competitions.”

Holt was named The Intelligencer/Wheeling News-Register Coach of the Year following the 2016 season. Last season, Holt and his staff earned the nod to coach the West Virginia team at the OVAC All-Star Game. Despite all the success he had, it is the little things he said he will miss.

“We take extreme pride in what we were able to do, not so much in wins and losses, but sticking to our coaching philosophy and building young men into good citizens,” Holt said. “We put the kids first and that is what gives me the most satisfaction.

“It is funny, you think back on every thing and the memories you think you will have are not the wins. Seeing your wife and kids after a game is so special. Leaving on a Thursday after practice, knowing you did all your could to get ready for Friday night. The camaraderie in the coaches office, the inside jokes, getting to know players’ families. Those will be my biggest memories.”

With a large senior class departing, Cameron will be hitting the reset button with younger players. Holt felt with so much transition coming, it was best to let someone else get the chance to build the program they way they want to.

Holt, who took over for long-time coach Jim Rogers, went 37-17 in five years on the Dragons sideline. He spent three years as an assistant under Rogers before that. He also had a tenure as St. John head coach.

With coaching in his blood and still at young age (he recently turned 40), Holt is not closing the door completely on returning to the game at some point.

“The odds are pretty high I will be a coach again. It is a hard racket to get out of your system,” Holt said. “I may not be a head coach again, but it is hard to say.

“Right now, I live an hour away from Cameron and that makes things hard. But I love the profession, love the people, love and respect the game. But right now it is time to be a dad and a husband.”